“People think they need help with things like their weight, levels of stress or even depression, but really they're just miserable at work, and that’s the source,” the doctor said.
The doctor is one of the members of the Strategic Training Group I lead throughout the year, and we were talking about how many guys choose their careers out of necessity rather than desire—a topic in my Habits of Heroes ebook.
The doctor went on to explain that many of his patients are unhappy with what they spend a bulk of their time and energy on—mostly, their jobs—and it affects their health in profound ways. He estimated that up to 50 percent of the people he treats for sleep problems, substance abuse, mental disorders, fatigue, and weight gain had been adversely affected by what they did for a “living.”
“They’re the lucky ones,” I said.
You can imagine the virtual head-tilt the people on the call gave me on that one.
I explained that I consider these men to be lucky because their situations had gotten bad enough that they were seeking help from someone. The unlucky ones—and that probably refers to most dudes—cruise just below that radar and will forever live in that suboptimal level.
They'll likely wrestle with daily doses of alcohol and prescription sleep meds, as well as fatigue and weight issues for their entire lives. All happening because they're stuck with a job because they thought they had to be.
The members of the Group nodded and were kind of like yeah, that sucks for those guys, but I wasn’t convinced that they, themselves, were in the clear.
I went around the virtual table and asked each one what their own split was between what they “love to” do and what they “have to” do. They were surprised to learn that they were averaging 60 percent “desire” and 40 percent “necessity.”
When I stated I was 95 percent “desire” and 5 percent “necessity”—and most days I was 100 percent desire—they realized that they still had some work to do.
Listen, it’s not easy to attain—and maintain—95 percent joy. I’ve worked hard to build a network of people around me to help me focus on what I’m best at. The people I hire, the people I choose to connect with in my career and personal life, is all very intentional and also a pillar of what guys need to climb out of their limitations and set up environments in which they can excel.
Being in the wrong career, submitting to your existing situation, is like swimming with lead weights tied to your legs. Sure, that career may be keeping you afloat financially, but you’re not going anywhere. It’s slowly pulling you under. It’s not caring for you personally, and you are dumping too much of your energy, pissing out all of your passion, and doing little more than just treading water.
Consider what your life would be like if the things you “love to” do and “have to” do were the same. Imagine a career that gives you energy and passion, instead of sucking it out of you.
Go back and read the ebook if you haven’t already finished it or if its just been a while. Think about how these things apply to you. Take it seriously. As if it’s life or death. Because it is.
If you'd like to have your name added to the short list for the next strategic training group click HERE and add it.